Texas Republicans on Saturday ousted their firebrand leader, conservative activist Cathie Adams, in favor of Houston businessman Steve Munisteri.
Delegates chose Munisteri to be the new state party chairman during their convention in Dallas.
Munisteri focused his campaign on the party’s $500,000 debt. The retired lawyer says Republicans should be in better financial shape since they control both houses of the Legislature and all statewide offices.
The internal struggle spilled onto the floor of the Dallas Convention Center, prompting a sometimes chaotic roll call vote of the delegates. Once officials announced Munisteri had won, Adams backers then proposed that she be selected as the party’s vice-chairwoman. Delegates picked Houston-area Republican activist Melinda Fredricks instead.
Adams is known as a take-no-prisoners conservative. The former leader of the Texas Eagle Forum had often criticized senior members of her own party, bucked business leaders by opposing their cherished lawsuit reform efforts, called global warming a “hoax” and used the specter of Adolf Hitler to warn of perceived Obama administration excesses.
Adams had not been in the job very long. She was chosen to lead the party in a special election in October after Tina Benkiser stepped down. Munisteri won a two-year term, which will expire when the Republicans meet at their next state convention in 2012.
Adams, head of the Texas wing of Phyliss Schafly's Eagle Forum and heavily involved early on Perry's re-election campaign, was the incumbent insider with allegations of "too much debt" against her. So she got teabagged -- even though her opponent had to work hard to appear as crazy as Adams. He obviously succeeded.
The Libs met in Austin and made their pick for governor:
Kathie Glass, a Houston attorney, has won the Libertarian Party nomination for Governor of Texas. She will face incumbent Governor Rick Perry and former Houston mayor Bill White in November.
"This is our time. We will leave this convention as a united party," said Glass. "Texans want smaller government and more freedom. This is the message that we bring."
"Regrettably, our current governor seems intent on running our state "Washington D.C." style instead of Texas style. Runaway taxes, exploding spending, escalating debt, ever-growing government, and confiscation of property so he can give it to foreign interests -- where will it end?" asked Glass.
"Kathie was nominated by our convention because of her strength, knowledge of the issues, and her sense of what's right for Texas," said Executive Director Robert Butler. "She knows the Libertarian answer for today's issues and she can explain it well for every audience."
Oh yeah, Kinky Friedman was the keynoter at their convention. Wasn't it just a few months ago he was telling us he'd always been a Democrat?
"I really think the Democrats and the Republicans have become the same guy, admiring themselves in the mirror," Friedman said. "Rick Perry and Bill White — it's like the lesser of two boll weevils. This is the classic choice between paper or plastic. I think the day has come for the Libertarians."
And the Greens, also convening yesterday in Austin, selected ...
... well, I'm still waiting to hear who they selected between Deb Shafto and Bart Boyce. There's video here of both candidates (the second of two on that page). I have made some inquiries and searches but there seems to be no word officially that I can find. I'll update here when I know.
Update: kat swift late last night reports that Deb Shafto was selected by Green delegates as their gubernatorial candidate. Here's a bio page from her bid for Houston city council last year and another video from that campaign as well.
Update II: More on Glass and Shafto, via jobsanger, from the Fort Worth Star-Tel.